Editorial Note: This is a reprint of the article I did in the September 2010 edition of the Eagle View, the school newspaper of Northwest Arkansas Community College. Enjoy!
On a recent trip to Washington, an Eagle View staff writer visited Forks, the location of “Twilight.”
My family and I were watching television together over the summer when a Burger King ad came on promoting the third movie in the Twilight saga, Eclipse. It was chock full of teenage girls trying to convince the patrons of the restaurant to choose a side in the epic battle between Team Edward and Team Jacob. After the advertisement ended, my mom commented that she had no idea what that commercial was about at all. I tried to explain as best as I could, but if it’s not a comedy or drama, then my mom’s probably not interested; no horror, gore, or action for her.
I found the whole thing rather amusing. ‘How could someone not know about Twilight in today’s society?’ I thought to myself. I told a colleague of mine about my mom’s ignorance of the subject, and when she confided in me that she really had no idea what it was about either, I was struck by an epiphany that rocked me to the very core of my existence – maybe everyone is not familiar with Twilight. Upon months of deep reflection and weeks of intense meditation, I decided I must introduce the unindoctrinated to the world of Bella and her beaus. For those of you, who fall into this category, welcome to Twilight 101.
The City of Forks Welcomes You... and Your Money.
The phenomenon began in 2005 when Stephanie Myers’ fi rst novel in the series, Twilight, was published. It is a story of forbidden love involving the main character, Isabella “Bella” Swan, a shy, clumsy, 17-year-old girl and her vampire soul mate, Edward Cullen. Bella has recently moved to the dreary little town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie Swan, the Chief of Police. She starts school at Forks High where she must deal with the difficulties of being the new girl and not having any friends. It also doesn’t help that the pale, but dashing young man in her science class (Edward) seems to be repulsed by the very sight of her. Soon, however, Edward’s true feelings are revealed when he stops a
car from crushing Bella like a grape, and with a little help from a few Quileute Indian legends told to her by her friend Jacob Black, she figures out that Edward and his family are vampires. Of course, this doesn’t bother her in the least and romance ensues.
Edward’s family, the Cullen’s, are not like other vampires. They choose not to drink the blood of humans for sustenance; instead they hunt wild animals to cure their blood-lust. This allows Bella to be with them and not fear for her life; until one unfortunate day, during a friendly game of baseball among vampires, she is recognized as human by a coven of regular vampires who just happen to be in the area. In his haste to protect Bella, Edward unknowingly ticks off the hunter vampire, James. Now, all he wants to do is kill Bella. The hunt is on and Bella is the prey.
The Main Beach at La Push, Washington, home of the Quiluete Indian tribe.
With this being just an introductory course, the curriculum says to stop there. Obviously, from the popularity of the series the first book was a smash hit, #1 New York Times Bestseller. It has sold over 19 million copies to date, and was named by Amazon.com as the “Best Book of the Decade.” There are three more books in the series. Following Twilight is New Moon, then Eclipse, and finally, Breaking Dawn. During several instances over the past two years since the release of the final book, the series has held the top four spots on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists; the first time that has ever been accomplished.
On Nov. 21, 2008, the film adaptation of the first book was released, followed by New Moon on November 20, 2009, and Eclipse this past June 30th. All of the movies have been box office blockbusters garnering over $1.7 billion worldwide together. The final book, Breaking Dawn, is being broken into two movies to be released in November 2011 and 2012, which is good because we’ll get to see the final movie before the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012.